Children were oblivious to the cold as they bounced balls, swung rackets and ran around in the sun.
The keen young players were taking part in community tennis programme The Independent Tennis Club, which is aiming to encourage as many children as possible from Borehamwood to discover the joys of the game.
The club was set up by professional tennis coaches in 2011 after they discovered there were few opportunities for children to play tennis in the town.
As children from St Teresa’s Primary School practised their serves, co-founder Monica Becerra explained why she and Rafael Zurita set the club up.
Both are professional coaches and players, and Ms Becerra has coached young players including Laura Robson through her involvement with Middlesex Tennis Club and Gosling Tennis Centre in Welwyn Garden City.
“We founded the club to give the similar opportunities to less privileged children at home.
“Hertfordshire has a fantastic tennis heritage and is well serviced with tennis clubs, but there are very few in Borehamwood.
“We started the club a year and a half ago to give children in the area access to this fun, sporting community.”
As well as offering after school lessons at St Teresa’s Primary School and Summerswood Primary School, the club runs free tennis trials and training on Saturday mornings in Meadow Park.
Ms Becerra added: “We have children playing tennis with us twice a week. They’re lovely kids, very keen. Some of them are already beginning to enter in competitions.
“Although we have to charge for some of our classes to keep us sustainable we’re trying to be as affordable as possible so no-one is excluded.
“We’re hoping to raise the profile of our club and expand our schools network so no child is left out – we want to include everyone who wants to play.”
She said the club was also considering joining in with the Live Well programme to offer tennis for older people and was seeking volunteers to help with sessions.
St Teresa’s School pupil Neha Joseph, eight, who has been at the club since it started, plays twice a week with the club.
She said: “I really enjoy the sessions. I love the exercise and everyone is very friendly.”
Jane Lunis, seven, takes part in the sessions in Meadow Park. Her mother Debbie said: “There is a relaxed but professional atmosphere and Jane’s tennis has really improved. I would highly recommend this activity to anyone.”
The free tennis trials are running through the winter at Meadow Park in Shenley Road on Saturday mornings. For more information, contact the club on email@example.com